Saturday, July 11, 2015

distance

Hey everyone,

It's out of habit that I still say that, because back when I started this blog there were people that were on blogger. Now I don't really know of anyone. It's probably better that way, so I can just say these things and get them out without having to account for them.

I brought one of the lilies in our garden to my mom the other day.
I thought that they might be more meaningful if they came from my mom's garden, versus the store. I don't know. It's more comforting for me, really.

I was thinking of the picture mom drew that I talked about in the last post. She said she loved sunshine & flowers, and the day was beautiful. I awkwardly crouched by her gravestone and told her that it was "sunny out today." And by told her, I mean I quietly mumbled it because there was a lady chatting on her phone in the cemetery parking lot, and I didn't want to look like I was talking to myself, and I didn't want to look pathetic as I talked to my mom's grave.

I'm really very lonely.

I'm moving to the other side of the world in 14 days and I feel other than my family there are maybe one or two others that might miss me. Well, I know for sure Dani will miss me. She's told me and I'm going to miss her too. My pets will miss me as well, but people, not so much.

I wish I was leaving the country with a firmer foundation than I have right now. That makes it harder to leave, but it's also there when you crumble.

I've thrown out a lot of my possessions, and I'll have to leave even more behind and...there's something about that that's freeing, but it's still very lonely. I can't help but think that I'm throwing things out as a way to pacify the part of me that's missing my mother. Whenever I can't decide if I want to keep something, I tell myself, "Well, you already lost mom, what else could be that important?" and I throw it out.

Here is the picture from last week that I was talking about. With that said, I'm going to stop typing.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Want to live & Love family

Hey, everyone.

I was just doing laundry and I looked over and saw my mom's "joy box." It's a colorful pink box with foam letters spelling out "RoAnne's Joy Box" on the side. The joy box is what we stored all of the letters mom got from people during the two years she was fighting cancer.

I'd never really glanced at it too much, because it was full of letters and those tend to say the same thing. Maybe not. I'm going to investigate them. My mom is gone, and I don't think she'd mind anyway if I did read through some of them. Maybe I'll be able to pick up a story or two.

But anyway, there's a drawing of flowers in the box that I'd kind of glanced over every time I saw it. However, today I noticed it said "I love sunshine" in scribbly blue letters. I then realized it was my mom's handwriting. I pulled the poster out of the box and saw it for what it really was.

My mom drew a picture of flowers in a box and around the outside of the flowers are the phrases:

"I love sunshine"
"Want to live & Love family"
"Keeep going & praying"
"Life is good"
"unconditional Love"
"Sisters" with a heart drawn next to it, leading me to believe she drew this with Aunt Jane.
"Cancer sucks & is scary"
"Flowers are awesome"

I could tell she wrote this when she was getting radiation to the brain, because her handwriting was shaky, and some words were messed up, but it was her handwriting. And in her handwriting she had written that she wanted to live. These words echoed for me as a reminder of when last summer I was sitting on the porch with her and she told me that all she wanted was "more time with her kids."

Mom wanted to live so bad. Mom wanted to live and love family, and I really wanted that too. I, of course, started crying. Even now I can't exactly stop. It's been hard being home without her. I'm throwing a lot of my stuff away and getting ready to move to Japan. I feel like I can make a somewhat new start over there, but just because you go overseas, doesn't mean your problems disappear. I just miss her so much. I miss her every day. It's hard to believe that in 17 days it will be 6 months since she passed. I want to see her so badly, but I can't and it hurts so bad.

I wish the flower drawing had come true.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hey, everyone. I'm having a hard time, so I'm just going to share some passages from my grief journal. Ready? Here we go.

From 2/15/15:

Eventually I'll be able to think of you and not be sad, instead I'll remember all the times we had together-not the times we didn't and wouldn't in the future. I'll be able to think, "I wish mom was here." in those moments. And then I'll remember the times you were.

When I read through my journal, I can remember each instance and each dream described with incredible visibility. I wonder if this will be the most vivid year of my life. I can recall so many painful things.

When I'm reading through this journal, I can see every place where my heart broke. There are a lot of entries where all I'm saying is, "Mom, I miss you so much. I want you back. Why did this happen? I miss you so much. It's just not fair." over and over again.

This weekend has been pretty awful for me. I feel very broken. Mother's Day is next weekend. It feels very cruel.

Have a great week.


Friday, May 1, 2015

mother's day is coming up

Hey everyone. It's Friday and I kind of missed a few Sundays, but I'm here now. Ready? Here we go.

After only 3 months since mom's passing, dad's already dating someone else. Her name is Jan and I feel like I already know too much about Jan without actually having met Jan yet. The thing is, Dorian already had to eat out with her and dad, and dad said he'd take me out to dinner too (he didn't mention Jan because he hasn't mentioned Jan at all to me yet. He probably doesn't think I know about her yet.) But the thing is, the next time I come home is next week for Mother's Day. I'm not sure if I want to meet Jan on Mother's Day weekend, and when I say I'm not sure, I mean I'm definitely sure.

Mother's Day is looming and I'm just worried about my mental health in this upcoming week. Last year, I had pneumonia at this time and couldn't go home for Mother's Day. I remember calling mom about it and feeling bad but she told me that it was alright because "we love each other." Well, that was the last mother's day we could have spent together. She's not here anymore, but I still know we love each other.

People don't get how hard it is to get up every day. I have to deal with everyone else's actions while trying to grieve at the same time. I'm trying to deal with Jan's existence as well as other such issues. I graduate in about a month.

I'm tired of dealing with things. I feel like I'm back in high school facing my senior graduation. I was really tired of everything then too.

I just wanted to drop in and talk a little, but now I'm done for tonight.

Have a great week.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good things & bad things

Hey, everyone. It's not Sunday, but I'm in a place to talk, so I'm going to. Ready? Here we go.

I'm feeling very low right now, but before I discuss that, let me make an announcement. This Monday I received the email that I was accepted into the teaching program I wanted to be in. That means, I will be moving to Japan in July. This is a highly competitive program and I am proud to have been selected for it.

I've been running around all week to get more paperwork done. I swear, it never ends. It's okay after I get it done though because I feel very accomplished. I tell myself, with every step I take, I become more of an adult. I mean, I technically am an adult, but sometimes I feel very small.

I've felt stronger since Spring started, but Easter has me feeling pretty low. Typically it's one of my favorite holidays because of the surplus bunny stuffed animals and my favorite type of chocolate being on the shelf. However, it's also the first big holiday without my mom. I know that not everyone celebrates Easter, but my family always has a family reunion at my grandparent's house.

The last time we had a family reunion, my mom was still with us. I sat next to her at the table. I didn't know that that night she would fall and then the next day all the migraines would start and her health would decline. I didn't know and now here I am. Last year at this time my mom was still alive. I was looking at her pictures on facebook and there's one of her smiling from April 3rd.

I've said it a thousand times, but it's not fair. Since I've had a couple of good weeks, I feel like people expect me to be okay all the time now. Since I'm not actively crying in front of anyone, I feel like I'm expected to be alright. I'm really not okay. I'm miserable today. My emotions manifest themselves poorly too. I constantly think I'm annoying and whiny and I'll mention something about myself and it'll seem like I need my ego boosted, but really I just want a confirmation that I'm not garbage because I feel like I am a lot. And now I feel bad for needing that and I just keep telling myself that yes, I am garbage.

I know I'm not garbage, but it's hard to not feel like trash.

I was asked to be a panelist for my school's prospective student day, and everything was fine until it was mentioned that everyone was an Honor's student. I didn't do honors. I said I would before school started this year, but I didn't do it. It's not that I couldn't do it academically, I've made the Dean's list 9 times, but I started this school year with the knowledge that my mom was probably going to pass sometime this year. Of course I wasn't going to do that to myself. But it's still embarrassing to be in a position where you could've done honors and you didn't and now you're surrounded by people who did. And it's not that it's too hard for me to do, it's that my mother literally died and I would've had to drop it winter term anyway because I don't even know how I made it through winter term. I somehow got straight A's even though I was miserable every day.

I guess I'm just pissed that I feel inadequate even though I'm doing the best I can. But at the same time, I ask myself, "Am I doing the best I can?" Probably not. I should try harder. I always manage to make everyone else in the vicinity feel bad too. I feel like a constant burden to everyone around me.

What would really piss me off is if people thought I had it easy. I suppose that's childish to say, but just because I'm good at something doesn't mean it's easy necessarily. Yes, I have a job after graduation. Yes, I'm doing well academically. BUT my mother DIED. This is the same feeling I had in earlier posts where I said that I was doing fine, but I wasn't doing fine. You might say, no one is going to think you have it easy! But my little sister was told by her friends that they were jealous of her because she was only taking two classes in college because she had to drop two-three because mom died.

I'm just tired and sad and I have a lot of things coming up that I need to do. I have a presentation next Friday, and after that a hearing for my recital, and another admitted students day, more paperwork and who knows what else.

Have a great week.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nights

Hey, everyone. I actually remembered to continue to post. Let's see if I can keep this up. Ready? Here we go.

Every since my mom passed away, I'm scared of falling asleep. My siblings have been having problems sleeping as well, but I don't think it's from fear. I'm always terrified that if I fall asleep, I won't wake up. Lately, I've been having anxiety attacks daily, if not more than once a day. It's exhausting to be afraid all the time.

I know that I have nothing to be afraid of, but my mom's cancer seemed so sudden and after two years she passed. The moment we found out about the diagnosis, we knew that we didn't have much time left together. That sort of thing is terrifying to me.

When I type this, it seems silly to be afraid of things, but I can't help myself when I wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly I'm afraid to close my eyes. I don't understand it, but I know where it comes from. Whenever I drive long distances, I have anxiety attacks too. That's because my car kept stalling in the middle of the highway. It's finally fixed now, (it had an ignition problem and the battery was low), but I can't stop the lingering fear. As soon as I sit in my car, I feel nauseous and light-headed.

I wish I was a stronger person. I may have gotten straight A's for Winter Term, but my anxiety is very disabling right now. I'm concerned about being able to function next year. I hope that it doesn't keep getting in the way and that'll go away soon.

Mom died in front of my eyes and it was extremely traumatic for me. I'm glad I was there. It was very painful, but I'm glad I was there for her in those last moments, but the image is seared into my brain and I'm afraid of dying. I'm also just very tired, very very tired.

I'm going to stop this here, but yeah, I'm tired and I'm very tired of being afraid of everything.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My last term

Hey, everyone.

I haven't posted since my mom passed two months ago. I feel like I've been in a fog and I'm not sure how I got through these months. I decided to take up blogging again, or at least I tell myself that I will. Last night, I was laying in bed and I thought that I should make this post.

I mentioned in an earlier post that someday I would look back on these years and see all the holes from when I didn't blog. I posted the following quote March 11, 2013, a little over two years ago:

I haven't been blogging because this is the major event my life is circling about right now. I don't know if I can talk about it here, so I've stayed away so I wouldn't be tempted, but now when I think about it, it may be the most important thing to document. When I look back at this blog someday, I'll see these holes and I'll remember what happened at this time, but I think it's good to remember how I emotionally felt on this afternoon.

Well, I never did get back into blogging and I think part of it was a self-defense mechanism. I didn't want to reflect on what was happening. I tried to be hopeful and pretend like my mother wasn't dying. I wrote plenty of quick posts on my tumblr, but those are now buried in my archive. If I ever want to relive those moments, I can dig them up again. But here there will always be two years missing of my life. That's fine. They were important, but they were also very sad. It's hard for me to be patient with myself. I even told my therapist that I didn't know if I had the right to be sad. I do, my mother died, but I'm still not sure. 

I did some pretty mean things to myself these past couple of months. I only took a week and a half off from school. I refused to set my midterm back and had it the following Monday after I returned to school on Tuesday. The week following that was the first week of February and coincidentally my birthday week and the week we found out about mom's cancer two years ago. That weekend, I had a job interview. They asked me how I would handle my mother's illness overseas. I told them that she'd passed away last month and then after the interview I beat myself up for answering so poorly. I didn't give myself a break from work. I made myself get up at 6:30 am every day for work even though I quite literally hated myself. I refused to take any offers for time off. I told myself that I should at least be able to do this much. Mom would have wanted me to continue. 

But would she have? Mom knew this was going to be hard. That's why she didn't want me to sing at the funeral. So I didn't sing at her funeral. I sang a duet at her burial with my sister. I don't know how I did any of this. I cried for a few minutes after she passed, and then I went numb and couldn't cry anymore. I cried later that night and then the next morning I got up at 9 am to write her obituary. That week my sisters and I planned her funeral and then it happened and we buried her and left. The day after we sorted through her clothes, and then we sorted through her jewelry. I don't know how we did any of this. I don't know how I got three A-'s and one A for my finals for Winter Term. People told me I was very strong, but I wasn't very strong at all. Yet, there's a lot of times where I told myself I am strong, but that's only when I'm feeling better. 

There were some weeks where my mood was so dark, that I hated everything about myself. The first time I met with my therapist she asked me the normal questions like, "Do you have suicidal thoughts? Or thoughts of hurting yourself?" You know, that normal sort of thing. I told her no because that's not what my mom would have wanted. I held onto that thought so even when I was in my darkest places, I knew that I would see the other side of it. It was not easy and I may have eaten too much junk food to spite myself, but I emerged from that and here I am. The first couple of warm days were the most precious days I have ever felt. It felt like I was being washed with light. I have never felt so peaceful as when I was walking in the sunlight for the first time in months. I said to myself, "Mom, I'm going to be okay." Of course, I had moments a few days later where I felt sad and I didn't know how I was going to keep going without my mom, but even now I have a feeling that I will be okay. 

I've had lots of dreams about my mom, and by lots I mean about three or four. The first dream I had with her in it was the most precious dream. We were sitting in my parents' bedroom and there was the hospital bed that we rented during Christmas break. She was sitting at the head of it on the edge. She was wearing her ruffled black, brown, and cream shirt. In this dream, we both acknowledged that she had already passed. She told me that there were ten chairs that were filled with people who had gone before, and that it had been amazing. She also told me that she was okay. She was fine. I believed her because she looked like she had before she had been sick. My mom is okay now. She told me. I still miss her though. I woke up crying. 

It occurred to me last night that four years ago at this time, I would have never pictured myself in the position I am in now.  At this time four years ago I was finishing up with high school. I was dealing with a huge shift in my life and I was very introspective. The introspective side of me was lost when I first got into college. Instead, when I read through those posts, I only see a very shallow side of myself. I was excited, and I was only going to the motions with my blog.

One particular passage stood out to me. It's cheesy and definitely written by a high schooler, but I wanted to share it. It's from May 22, 2011:


The school has said goodbye to us, like it does all seniors. It's been saying goodbye all year, and we've finally decided to listen to it and respond.

You know what? Last years seniors are but a quiet memory, and the years before are nearly nonexistent. We're the same. This freshmen class never really knew us, just like I never really knew my seniors. We're all eagerly straining for our time, like dogs on a leash, and when the leash snaps, we're left tumbling out of control into places we could never have imagined. College, life, whatever you're doing, we've been cut off and we're stumbling alone, but at least we're stumbling. This is the part of your life that you have to plunge into by yourself. In the end, you're making your own decisions. Sure, it's scary as hell, but we're doing it.

Who are we?

Hah, we thought we'd know by the end of high school, but really, we're just starting out. Will we ever know? Probably not. We constantly morph.

I'm entering my final Spring term tomorrow, and I still don't know who I am. I'm reevaluating myself and learning to live without my mom. I have a feeling these next couple of months will be rough. I'll have my senior recital and my senior art show and my mom won't be there to cheer me on. I will search for her face in the crowd, and she will not be there. It seems weird that I will be finishing college without her, when we started the whole process together. My mom is the one that took me to college visit days and the one that drove me to my college scholarship auditions. Her absence is felt every day of my life. There is not a day where I think that I would not like to call her to tell her about something. It's hard to deal with. It's hard to know she's gone. My professor told me at my final that he was moved by the work I'd done this semester. I still don't think I did enough, I could have done more. Well, I probably couldn't have when the circumstances, but if my mom was still alive, everything would be different.

I suppose that's the way I just have to look at life. If mom was here still everything would be different. But she's not, so I have to live with what I have. My mom's death was without reason. It was senseless, it was cruel, it was too soon. There was nothing good about it, so when people tell me that she is no longer in pain, I just want to tell them that there was no reason for my mom to die. There was no reason to it at all. Those comments only help them feel better about comforting me. There was no reason. She should still be here. I can't accept fully that she's not, but I'm trying. 

I'm going to end this post here, as it's gone rather long. I will try to start keeping to a posting schedule. Until next time.

Have a great week.